For the time being, the Yankees workouts are giving us no hints about their plans for center field. The outfielders are working in large groups, with the corner outfielders and center fielders going through the same basic fielding drills. There’s been no real assignment to left, center or right.
“I wouldn’t read too much into what we’ve done yet because we haven’t played any games,” Joe Girardi said. “We still have time to discuss what we want to do, and I want to make sure our outfielders are versatile. We were fortunate to get Ichiro last year where he could play center and left and right as well. It’s something that, if we do start toying with it, we would do it very quickly.”
It was early in the offseason that the idea of moving Brett Gardner to center field was first introduced. Since then, the Yankees haven’t shot down the idea, but they haven’t committed to it either.
“The question is — for us to sit here and stew over — if you flip-flop them, does it make you better defensively,” Girardi said. “… Do they cover more ground one way or the other, because they both can run. They both have strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes a guy goes better one way than the other. How does it work out? It’s just something we have to evaluate.”
Associated Press photo